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Lathyrus odoratus

Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus

Common Name(s): Sweet pea,



Sweet peas are one of the joys of the winter garden, particularly in cooler or more temperate areas. Seed companies offer both climbing and bush (dwarf) varieties, as well as packets of single-colour flowers in a range of hues: dark purple, maroon, pink, rose, salmon, blue and white. Sweet peas make lovely scented cut flowers. These climbers and semi-climbers need something to grow on or against, so put a trellis in place or install criss-cross wires against a wall, to give them something to wind around.

Family: – Fabaceae

Botanical Pronunciation: LAY-thy-russ oh-dor-AY-tus

Semi Frost Hardy
Non Indigenous
Regular Maintenance
Full Sun
Moderate Watering

Common Pests and Diseases
Few diseases trouble sweet peas, but you may need to use protective netting over the seedlings, as birds consider the young shoots to be a great delicacy.
Description:Seed companies offer packets of single-colour flowers in a range of hues: dark purple, maroon, pink, rose, salmon, blue and white.Flowers are scented.

Pinch back when 80mm tall, retaining a few strong shoots, then start training onto a trellis, using plastic budding tape. Water copiously several times a week. Once in bud, feed fortnightly with a liquid fertilizer such as Multifeed P, Kelpak or Supranure Plus.
Other Languages
Pronkertjie (A)
Planting Instructions
Choose a sunny north- or east-facing position for your bed and prepare the soil well in advance of planting, as sweet peas are gross (heavy) feeders. It is not necessary to dig a huge trench, but it should be ±250mm deep and wide. When removing soil from the trench, remember to put the topsoil on one side and the bottom soil on another. Work a lot of well-rotted manure and compost into the bottom soil, plus a cup of superphosphate for each running metre of trench. Next, mix compost and well-rotted manure into topsoil, adding half a cup of 3:2:1 (28) SR fertilizer for each metre of trench. This should be done a month in advance of planting. In the week before sowing, rake a sprinkling of lime into the trenches. Put up any trellises or supports before sowing.
Seed Sowing Instructions
Sow seeds at a depth of 12mm. In summer-rainfall areas, place some river sand at the bottom of seed drills to help with drainage. Keep the soil cool and damp, but not saturated.
Height: 0.3 m Spread: 2 m
Sweet peas make lovely scented cut flowers.
Uses in landscape design
Excellent bedding, container and hanging basketet plants, particularly in cooler or more temperate areas.
When to Sow
The best time to sow sweet peas is from February to April (this applies to both summer- and winter-rainfall areas).
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